The first picture of Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot accused of crashing the Germanwings aircraft into the French Alps on Tuesday, has emerged. Lubitz is believed to have altered the altitude settings, which led to the death of 152 people.
Lubitz set the plane on this course of action after his fellow pilot Patrick Sonderheimer visited the bathroom while the plane was in the air. When Sonderheimer was out of the cockpit, Lubitz locked the door and then adjusted the altitude to the minimum setting of 100 feet.
This led the Germanwings plane to go into a nosedive, which resulted in the plane falling 6,000 feet and then crashing into the French Alps.
According to the Mirror, Fredrik Lindahl, a chief executive over at FlightRadar24, has since reported his findings and passed them on to the authorities investigating the crash.
“Between 09:30:52 and 09:30:55 you can see that the autopilot was manually changed from 38,000 feet to 100 feet and 9 seconds later the aircraft started to descend, probably with the ‘open descent’ autopilot setting.”
Brice Robin, the Marseille prosecutor who is investigating the plane crash, has since provided further details regarding the “black box” voice recorder, and he’s insisted that Lubitz wanted to “destroy the plane.”
Robin explained that Lubitz was completely alone in the cockpit when the plane started to descend, having locked the door when Sonderheimer exited. According to BBC, Robin added that there was “absolute silence in the cockpit” as Sonderheimer fought to re-enter the plane.
“We hear the pilot ask the co-pilot to take control of the plane and we hear at the same time the sound of a seat moving backwards and the sound of a door closing. At that moment, the co-pilot is controlling the plane by himself.
While he is alone, the co-pilot presses the buttons of the flight monitoring system to put into action the decent of the aeroplane. He operated this button for a reason we don’t know yet, but it appears that the reason was to destroy this plane.”
At this point, as the plane was making its rapid descent to the Alps, air traffic controllers then began to try and contact the plane. However, Lubitz didn’t respond, and as the plane got closer to the ground, Robin explained that passengers could be heard screaming just before it eventually crashed. It was also confirmed that Lubitz was alive until the plane hit the ground.
Carsten Sphor, the head of Lufthansa, who own Germanwings, has since come out and insisted that 27-year-old Lubitz had undergone the proper training to fly the aircraft and he was “100 percent fit to fly without any caveats.”
Police and investigators have failed to find a link between Lubitz’s history and his private life that might explain the tragedy.
Greenwings’ Airbus 320, which was traveling from Barcelona to Dusseldorf, had an eight minute descent before it crashed into the Alps and killed all 144 passengers and six crew onboard.
[Image via Times Of Israel]